Week 3. Maverick Chocolate: 70% Dominican Republic Bar

Cacao: 70%        Type: Dark chocolate         Origin: Dominican Republic

 Plantation: Hacienda Elvesia

Ingredients: organic cocoa beans, organic cane sugar, organic cocoa butter

Where to Buy: online or at these retailers in California, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming 

Average Price: $8.00-$10.00         Bar Size: 2.3 oz

Cacao Origin Map

Personal Tasting Notes

Maverick is a brand new company on my radar (and indeed, they've only been on the craft chocolate scene since July of 2014), but I can tell already that I'm going to be eating a lot more of their finely crafted amazingness. My blind tasting of their Dominican Republic 70% bar was a dizzying, sumptuous experience and left me craving more. I *might* have eaten the entire bar over the course of the week--so much for moderation!

This beautiful chocolate had flavors that developed early and lingered for a full half-hour after the last cocoa butter crystal faded off my tongue--flavors that ebbed and flowed and ebbed again in a sort of hypnotic series of waves that left my palate feeling incredibly rich and spoiled. The complex aroma of the chocolate drifted through my head even before the opening flavors confirmed that this was going to be a fantastic experience. Notes of coffee, carob, and raisin--deep and dark but not burnt in the least--developed in perfect time, suffused with the most buttery texture imaginable, and gave way to fig and cocoa and black tea notes, which eddied out into final notes of cherry, as the coffee overtones returned for a finale and curled around my head. That last, lingering mocha tone stayed with me--and yes, I timed it--for 30 minutes. Simply amazing. I gave this bar my first 5-pod rating because for me, the experience of eating it was near-divine and left me dying to try the entire lineup of Maverick bars.

A little bit about this chocolate: Maverick Chocolate sourced their Dominican Republic beans for this bar from a single plantation, Hacienda Elvesia, which was established 200 years ago by Swiss immigrants. It's a certified organic plantation that is dedicated to the principle of sustainable agriculture, so that means win/win for both the farmer and the consumer.

Maker Profile

The story of how Maverick Chocolate came to be has all the elements of an epic chocolate adventure: world travel, exotic chocolate gifts, an engineer, a family, an entrepreneurial dream. This is how it goes: Paul, an engineer, travels the world for work and brings back delicious chocolates for his wife Marlene, and a love affair with cacao is born. Curiosity begins to germinate, and then, one day, Paul's business travels come to an end. What will they do for good chocolate now? And that's when that curiosity and love of good chocolate and engineer's brain come together in the kitchen: they will make their own. In Cincinnati. 
They turn their kitchen into a manufactory. Their friends become happy guinea pigs. They get the family involved. And the dream launches into history, with a gorgeous, lush product line and a family shop and the whole world before them. And they more than live up to their tagline: "Bean-to-bar chocolate for the adventurous palate".

Grading Rubric

Criteria
Good Characteristics
5
4
3
2
1
0
Bad Characteristics
Appearance
clean, shiny, snappy
  
  
  
  
  
  
bloomed, dull finish, no snap
Aroma
complex, distinctive
  
  
  
  
  
  
neutral, boring, flat
Start
flavors develop quickly
  
  
  
  
  
 
flavors slow in coming, uninteresting
Middle
flavors develop and change
  
  
  
  
  
  
flavors remain the same as the start
Finish
flavors change again and linger well beyond the chocolate
  
  
  
  
  
  
flavor ends abruptly, uninterestingly
Mouth Feel
smooth, velvety
  
  
  
  
  
  
grainy, inconsistent
Personal Preference
love, love, LOVE it!
  
  
  
  
  
  
meh.
Criteria
5
4
3
2
1
0
Characteristics
Appearance
  
  
  
  
  
  
5: clean, shiny, snappy
0: bloomed, dull finish, no snap
Aroma
  
  
  
  
  
  
5: complex, distinctive
0: neutral, boring, flat
Start
  
  
  
  
  
 
5: flavors develop quickly
0: flavors slow in coming, uninteresting
Middle
  
  
  
  
  
  
5: flavors develop and change
0: flavors remain the same as the start
Finish
  
  
  
  
  
  
5: flavors change again and linger well beyond the chocolate
0: flavor ends abruptly, uninterestingly
Mouth Feel
  
  
  
  
  
  
5: smooth, velvety
0: grainy, inconsistent
Personal Preference
  
  
  
  
  
  
5: love, love, LOVE it!
0: meh.

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